Download the PTACC One-pager

PTACC One-pager


PTACC does not endorse just one brand or pathway of deflection or pre-arrest diversion; each community must determine which approach meets its needs, responds to its local situation, and considers its current behavioral health capacity. The more pathways a community is able to use, the more challenges it can address.


To strategically enhance the quantity and quality of community behavioral health and social service options through engagement in deflection and pre-arrest diversion.


To provide vision, leadership, advocacy, and education to expand the practice of deflection and pre-arrest diversion nationally and internationally.



The Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative (PTACC) is an alliance of practitioners in law enforcement, behavioral health, community, advocacy, research, and public policy, whose mission is to strategically widen community behavioral health and social service options available through law enforcement diversion. The purpose of the Collaborative is to provide vision, leadership, advocacy, and education to facilitate the practice of pre-arrest diversion across the United States. PTACC is the national voice of the pre-arrest diversion and deflection field.

PTACC is organized in six strategic areas, but more are planned (e.g., Special Populations, Families and Children).  Working within each strategic area are “workgroups,” or teams of practitioners who create resources, guides, webinars, and other deliverables to be used to guide the practice of early diversion programs. The existing areas are:

  1. Leadership
  2. Treatment, Housing, and Recovery
  3. Public Safety
  4. Community, Diversion, and Equity
  5. Research
  6. Policy and Legislation
  7. Special Populations

Mission and Core Values

Click here to download PTACC’s mission and core values statement.

History and Background Information:

In March 2017, an inaugural National Pre-Arrest Diversion Summit was held at the headquarters of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.  Co-convened by TASC and the Civil Citation Network, the summit was attended by representatives from 39 organizations from across the nation, including summit organizers . PTACC was established in April 2017 as a result of the summit, and tasked with working to achieve the goals and objectives outlined at that historic meeting.

PTACC is an opensource collaborative pulling from the expertise of stakeholders who work in the growing field of pre-arrest diversion and deflection. Inclusion of the recovery community, families, and those with lived experience in the work of PTACC is essential to achieving the collaborative’s mission and purpose. In addition, PTACC seeks to address issues of racial disparity as pre-arrest diversion initiatives grow across the country, and believes that pre-arrest diversion should be practiced with equity, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.


Pre-Arrest Diversion

Early diversion programs provide an alternative to arrest for individuals with substance use and/or mental health disorders, as well as for low-risk offenders, and allow these individuals to avoid the collateral consequences that result from arrest and contact with the criminal justice system. This movement is data-driven and is grounded in the belief that public safety and public health approaches must work in tandem to support vulnerable individuals with substance use disorder (SUD) and/or mental illness (MI). Instead of shifting responsibility or cost from one system actor to another, this collaborative approach creates additional tools and supports for those on the front line, appropriate treatment for eligible individuals with SUD and/or MI, and opportunities for systemic change for leaders looking for creative solutions to complicated problems.

In addition, these programs serve the best interest of the community, individual, and taxpayers. Pre-arrest diversion and deflection programs have the added benefits of:

  • Breaking the costly cycle of justice system involvement for eligible individuals;
  • Increasing cross-sector collaboration to create new pathways to community-based behavioral health services;
  • Enhancing relations between community members and law enforcement;
  • Decreasing crime, incarceration, and recidivism rates;
  • Lessening the burden on justice systems;
  • Improving public health and safety;
  • Reducing the burden on individuals who commit non-violent, low-level offenses;
  • Ensuring equal access to pre-arrest diversion regardless of race, income, or geography; and
  • Saving taxpayer dollars

For more information on pre-arrest diversion, including case studies of specific pathways, read or download Law Enforcement Pre-Arrest Diversion Resource Guide.

Additional information on PTACC:

What are the Pathways?

PTACC recognizes that there are multiple models of pre-arrest diversion and refers to these models as “pathways,” because using one or more of them creates pathways to treatment or social services. These pathways can be seen in the “PTACC 6 Deflection Pathways Visual” and are:

Self-Referral: An individual voluntarily initiates contact with a first responder agency (law enforcement, fire, or EMS) for a referral to treatment and services. If the contact is initiated with a law enforcement agency, the individual makes contact without fear of arrest.

Active Outreach: A first responder intentionally identifies or seeks out individuals with SUD to refer them to or engage them in treatment and services; outreach is often done by a team consisting of a behavioral health professional and/or peer with lived experience.

Naloxone Plus: A first responder and program partner (often a behavioral health professional or peer with lived experience) conduct outreach specifically to individuals who have recently experienced an opioid overdose to engage them in and provide linkages to treatment and services.

First Responder and Officer Referral: As a preventative approach, during routine activities such as patrol or response to a service call, a first responder engages individuals and provides a referral to treatment, services, or to a case manager. (Note: if law enforcement is the first responder, no charges are filed or arrests made.)

*Officer Intervention: (Only applicable to law enforcement) During routine activities such as patrol or response to a service call during which charges otherwise would be filed, law enforcement provides a referral to treatment, services, or to a case manager, or issues a non-criminal citation to report to a program. Charges are held in abeyance until treatment and/or a social service plan is successfully completed.

Community Response: In response to a call for service, a team comprising community-based behavioral health professionals (e.g., crisis workers, clinicians, peer specialists, etc.), and/or other credible messengers—individuals with lived experience—sometimes in partnership with medical professionals, engages individuals to help de-escalate crises, mediate low-level conflicts, or address quality of life issues by providing a referral to treatment, services, or to a case manager.

PTACC endorses all of these pathways and encourages communities to explore the approaches that best meet their needs. PTACC encourages availability of as many pathways as possible to maximize diversion opportunities and connection to treatment, recovery support, and community services. For more information on the six pathways and examples of programs that use these pathways, take a look at the PTACC 6 Deflection Pathways Visual.